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Q. The Bettendorf Crime Watch report in Thursday's paper uses the term "fraud" a lot. Please define the term in the context that it is used. -- Michael, Bettendorf

A. Bettendorf Police Chief Phil Redington said, "I have been asked this question before. We consider fraud when someone attempts to obtain anything of value, mostly money, under false pretenses. Most of the reports your readers see listed in the Bettendorf News relate to the scam phone calls many of us have received, such as the grandparent scam where someone calls pretending to be a grandchild needing money to get out of jail. We also have received calls from citizens who received a call from someone stating they are with the Sheriff’s Department and they need to pay money to them or be arrested. There is also a scam concerning a call from the IRS threatening arrest.

"So, many of the reports from our citizens in these cases are listed as fraud even though many of them did not give the caller information or money."

Q. Why does Davenport allow the railroad companies to raise the tracks at street crossings so it is a raise bump from the road? Example Carey Avenue and 53rd Street crossing and now an even worse road bump at 1725 Rockingham Road (west of Division Street). It has about 2 inches height increase from new repairs with about a 8-inch slop up ramp to it. You have to go slower than 20 mph so it not a speed bump. – Davenport reader

A. We contacted the city of Davenport and Canadian Pacific Railroad (CP) regarding your question. Andy Cummings, manager of media relations with Canadian Pacific Railroad (CP) said, "CP is planning to lengthen the asphalt approaches to the Rockingham Road crossing in Davenport in spring 2018. We believe this will resolve the issue that the writer has identified."

Follow up file:

Q. Were there any follow-up articles regarding the repairs to St. Mary's Catholic Church in Davenport after the Christmas Eve fire in 1947? -- Andrew

A. A news story published Saturday, Jan. 3, 1948, in The Daily Times with the headline "St. Mary's To Repair Damage Of $50,000 Blaze," said St. Mary's church at sixth and Fillmore streets had begun the work of repairing more than $50,000 damage caused by the Dec. 24, 1947, fire according to the Rev. Leo A. Kerrigan, pastor.

A city permit authorizing $13,324 in repair work has been issued to contractor W.J. Blunk, who said workmen already had begun the job of restoring the church's boiler room and sanctuary to their original condition.

Father Kerrigan declared the initial permit to be "only the start" of the restoration program.

The pastor remained hopeful that the valuable oil painting of the Blessed Virgin could be saved from the damaging effects of the fire.

There also were two other news stories about restoration work on St. Mary's Catholic Church in Davenport. To read them and the full story from The Daily Times visit

Ask the Times appears on Thursdays and Saturdays. You can call 563-333-2632, email or write Ask the Times, Quad-City Times, 500 E. 3rd St., Davenport, IA 52801.